Saturday Night Live: The Best of Commercial Parodies
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Since the creation of Saturday Night Live in the 1970s, one of the signatures of the show has been its commercial parodies. From subtle to outrageous, silly to realistic, SNL has always been able to poke fun at the folks on Madison Avenue with a variety of products not actually for sale. Now you can enjoy your favorite commercial parodies that have aired over the past 30 years all on one DVD and hosted by funny man Will Ferrell. Watch classics like "Little Chocolate Donuts," "Happy Fun Ball," "Mom Jeans," "Colon Blow," "Taco Town," "Love Toilet," "Oops I Crapped My Pants" or "Bassomatic" again and again.
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It's worth it however for these hysterical skits, and some great guest stars:
"Motivational Speaker" with Chris Farley, Christina Applegate and David Spade. Phil Hartman and Julia Sweeney plays the parent roles. Who can forget 'living in a van down by the river'. Farley was a great comedian.
"Cluckin' Chicken" is one of SNL's betetr commercial parodies, with Phil Hartman.
The "Monologue" features Kirstie Alley and a parody of 'Cheers'. It's a highlight.
"Daily Affirmation" is always a hit, with now Minnesota Senator Al Franken!
Other guests in skits include Paul and Linda McCartney with Adam Sandler in "Sweatshirt Song"; Jason Alexander in "Mr. DeAngelo" and the opening skit "Dole/Clinton C.O." with Dan Aykroyd, Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks.
You'll also find these skits:
"Sprockets - Dieter's Dream" with Mike Myers, Miranda Richardson and Marv Albert.
"Bensonhurst Dating Game" with Joe Pesci, Chris Rock, Dana Carvey and others.
"Ed Glosser" with Christopher Walken and others.
"Soylent Green" with John Goodman and others.
"Subway" with Harvey Kietel, Kevin Nealon, Phil Hartman and others.
About 14 clips total with a running time of 58 minutes.
Of course, Murphy is still the centerpiece of the show, and he gets plenty of time on this tape. He is great, as always, as Mr. Robinson and Buckwheat, and he does a short bit as Michael Jackson and delivers what is, in retrospect, the funniest line of the tape. I don't want to give it away, but it involves the song Billie Jean and the irony of his current predicament.
Murphy receives less time than he might have in earlier tapes since he was only on for half the season. Piscopo is also very present, but Murphy's absence allows us to see some other members of the cast that got a little less attention than he did. Brad Hall is in a few sketches, including one where he gets to sing the news, although his wife, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, is sadly relegated to the background (as she tended to be during her term on the show). Jim Belushi and Tim Kazurinsky both prove solid throughout--Belushi's synthesis of Flashdance and Swan Lake is great physical comedy, and Kazurinsky gets to play the part of the nerdy, effete White guy quite a bit (and he does it quite well). But Joe Piscopo effectively becomes the star of the show. Whether playing a tomcatting, obnoxious Abe Lincoln or a befuddled talk show host, he becomes a solid fixture of the show, and figures prominently in the best two sketches on the tape. On the first, Piscopo plays a ditzy Good Morning America host, which carries quite a bit of resonance in the age of Kelly Ripa (yes, I did just use the term 'The Age of Kelly Ripa') and Carson Daly. Piscopo's execution here is what makes the sketch work, and he is helped out by another perenially marginalized cast member, Gary Kroeger, as the only slightly-more-connected-upstairs Washington correspondent. The other great sketch involves a talk show where, on the anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination, Joe Piscopo asks his ordinary-folk guests if they remember where they were when they heard that Kennedy was killed. Jim Belushi is the first guest, and he exasperates Piscopo when Piscopo finds out that he only learned about Kennedy's death eleven years after it happened, and it gets wackier from there. It's some of the most clever writing of the Dick Ebersol era, with all of the actors in the sketch effectively playing straight men and allowing the brilliance of the idea to shine through, while commenting on Americans' then (and still) heavily prevalent indifference to current events.
Ultimately, although this tape is funny (and generous to the cast's lesser-known children), it begs the question: what happened to Joe Piscopo? He shows the chops here to become a great comic actor. Anyway, this tape is the best yearly tape I've seen so far, and is a great addition to your collection.